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Which Actor From The Bear Is Writing a Cookbook?
Plus: details on Molly Yeh's restaurants in Minnesota.
Howdy cookbook fans!
How’s it going? Doing something a little differently today: in honor of fall cookbook season (and the corresponding 20% off sale on annual subscriptions!), I’m sending my entire mailing list a sample of what paid subscribers typically get every other week. That’s right, it’s a cookbook news digest, full of the weird, wacky, important, and absurd cookbook news of the week. (There are also, almost always, book deals.) Just a little taste of what it’s like beyond the paywall. If you would like to join the prestigious ranks of paid SPN subscribers and get two of these per month, you have just two weeks to take advantage of the 20% off sale!
Here’s the report from SPN HQ: in collecting this week’s news I was THRILLED to stumble upon a starred review in Publishers Weekly for a book that is near and dear to my heart: The Big Texas Cookbook by the editors of Texas Monthly. (I am not an editor at Texas Monthly but I did have my fingers in this particular pot.) It’s a really fun book with a lot of great recipes in it, and I am so excited for it to be out in the world.
Beyond that, I am non-stop recipe testing for the rest of the year, and to say things are a bit chaotic is an understatement. (And to that end, if you have a cookbook-related pitch between 800-1400 words, email me! I pay and I need some work taken off my plate!) The garden is finally going off after we got some much-needed rain in August, and I am just barely keeping up with the okra and eggplants. I am definitely not keeping up with the basil, and last week I found a surprise entirely ripe cantaloupe in the middle on my melon bush. Things are overgrown.
EGGPLANT CORNER Have any of y’all grown fairytale eggplant? Amidst a hot, dry summer, even by Austin standards, these little guys kept on chugging all summer, and they cook up so much faster than regular eggplant! And…now I am swimming in them. I am also about to have IDK 15-20 Sicilian eggplants ripe at the same time so if anyone has good eggplant recipes that can be frozen, please save my life and link them in the comments. (Ability to comment on all posts are also a perk of paid subscriptions, but I’ve opened them to all here.) DON’T LET ME DROWN IN EGGPLANTS.
Okay let’s do the cookbook news.
Today’s issue of Stained Page News is brought to you by Chronicle Books.
Meet the Ultimate Farmer’s Market Cookbook: Featuring 26 adaptable base recipes, each with four seasonal variations and a seasonal produce grid, A Dish For All Seasons by Kathryn Pauline includes over 100 infinitely riff-able recipes for any season. This cookbook is a source of endless inspiration that instills confidence to improvise based on what looks good at the market or what's already in the pantry.
FUNDRAISERS There have been a lot of cookbook fundraisers to benefit restaurants impacted by the pandemic, but this one in particular seems to have been very successful: The Wisconsin Restaurant Cookbook has managed to raise $100,000 and granted $5,000 to 20 different restaurants. (Which is more than they set out to give!) You can buy a copy of the book here. [OnMilwaukee]
Details on Molly Yeh’s Restaurant in East Grand Forks, MN
Cookbook author and Food Network host Molly Yeh is taking the next step in celebrity chefdom: opening a destination restaurant for fans and locals. Located in East Grand Forks Minnesota and named for her daughter, Bernie’s is actually not just one restaurant but two, and also a shop. The Grand Forks Herald reports the space will hold “a casual, all-day cafe called Bernie’s Cafe; a full-service restaurant called Bernie’s Farmhouse; and Bernie’s Market for pantry items, cookbooks and more.”
No menu available on the Bernie’s website yet, but the About page teases dishes ranging from “hand-rolled lefse to extra buttery smørrebrød, from perfect bologna sandwiches to bring to the lake to steamy hot hotdishes topped with local tots.” Local tots!!! Read more here.
Yeh’s trio of businesses follow in the footsteps of other food celebrities who have come before her, including Ree “Pioneer Woman” Drummond’s Mercantile in Pawhuska, Oklahoma and Chip and Joanna Gainses’ Silos in Waco, Texas. No word on opening date, but Bernie’s is hiring. (Also shout out to my EGF tipster who emailed me the whole history of the building Yeh is taking over, including a cameo from Steve Buscemi when he was shooting Fargo.)
The movement is real. There have been thousands of pre-orders for this book. More so than folks who have established literary careers, many cookbooks, or celebrity books. There’s something much bigger than me or this book. The mass masa movement behind this is undoubtedly much more significant than mine and certainly more extensive than this book itself. It’s really exciting to see that movement in action and that there’s finally a text to help anchor some of this conversation.
As always, unless otherwise specified, these deals are from Publishers Marketplace.
Two book deal! Two book deal! Kelsey Barnard Clark, ex-Top Chefer, owner of Dothan, Alabama restaurant KBC, and author of 2021’s Southern Grit, to write two as-yet untitled cooking and lifestyle books for Chronicle. No word on pub date for either.
Excited for this one: Cathy Whims, chef/owner of Nostrana in Portland, Oregon, to write The Italian Summer Kitchen: Your Back-Pocket Guide to Summer Cooking Wherever You Are. 50 recipes for Italian vegetable dishes, illustrated with watercolors by Kate Lewis. Cameron + Company, pub date TBA.
And last but not least, Canadian and professional The Bear actor Matty Matheson to write Soups, Salads, Sandwiches, presumably full of recipes for those three things. I like soups, salads, and sandwiches! Ten Speed, fall 2024.
COOKERYBOOKERY Gibbs Smith, publisher of cookbooks, design books, gardening books, and more, is now entirely employee-owned. Half employee-owned since 2015, and this new deal saw employees purchase the additional 50% of shares. Gibbs Smith has published such cookbooks as Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking by Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart, Wild Bread by MaryJane Butters, and The Art of the Board by Olivia Carney. [Publishers Lunch]
I don’t get a lot of these (but also I don’t post a ton of my own cooking on Instagram), but man do I know these “recipe??!” Instagram guys are a whole thing. Similar to the “just get to the recipe!” people on Twitter. Anyway, here’s Tejal Rao on the whole thing. [NYT]
Los Angeles artist Suzanne Joskow runs the Community Cookbooks Archive, a collection of vintage cookbooks from LA that she is working on digitizing. Explore the collection here and read all about the project int the LAT. [CCA, LAT]
Any high altitude bakers out there? University of Wyoming Extension has just released a collection called High Altitude Baking. 100 recipes that have been tested at 3,500 feet and 7,200, and if that is not some thorough recipe testing I don’t know what is. Details here, buy it here. [UW Extension]
5 cookbooks for kids! [Indo & NY]
9 cookbooks for fall. [Robb Report]
34 baking books for fall. [Epi]
28 fall cookbooks. [F&W]
8 fall cookbooks. [The Takeout]
Cooking is often more than just a utilitarian pursuit, and cookbooks tap into the promise and escape inherent in a good recipe. Holding in your hands a beautifully bound book, printed on thick, toothy paper, and with gorgeous photos, anything seems possible; they are an expression of our best cooking selves.
—Jenny Wapner, publisher at Hardie Grant North America, on why cookbooks persist in an age of digital recipes. [Publishers Weekly]
All right folks, that’s all for today. I am off to eat some Tex-Mex with an old friend. If you’d like to keep getting these news digests twice a month, click the big ol’ orange button below for 20% off an annual subscription til the end of the month. Have a great weekend!